Local Government Transparency Code 2015

 
Local Government Transparency Code
2015

                                                   February 2015
                 Department for Communities and Local Government
© Crown copyright, 2015

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February 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4098-4484-6
Contents
1   Part 1: Introduction                                         4

2   Part 2: Information which must be published                  11

3   Part 3: Information recommended for publication              23

4   Annex A: Table summarising all information to be published   28

5   Annex B: Detecting and preventing fraud                      38

6   Annex C: Social housing asset data to be published           40

                                                                      3
Part 1: Introduction
Policy context
1. This Code is issued to meet the Government’s desire to place more power into citizens’
   hands to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to
   contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services.
   Transparency is the foundation of local accountability and the key that gives people the
   tools and information they need to enable them to play a bigger role in society. The
   availability of data can also open new markets for local business, the voluntary and
   community sectors and social enterprises to run services or manage public assets.

2. ‘Data’ means the objective, factual data, on which policy decisions are based and on
   which public services are assessed, or which is collected or generated in the course of
   public service delivery. This should be the basis for publication of information on the
   discharge of local authority functions.

3. Analysis by Deloitte1 for the Shakespeare Review of Public Sector Information
   estimates the economic benefits of public sector information in the United Kingdom as
   £1.8 billion, with social benefits amounting to £5 billion. The study highlights the
   significant potential benefits from the publication of public data. And, local authorities
   and local people want to see published open data:
          80 per cent of those responding to a transparency survey2 by the Local
           Government Association in September 2012 cited external accountability as a
           benefit, with 56 per cent citing better local decision making and democracy as a
           benefit
          a survey of 800 members of Bedford’s Citizens Panel3 showed that 64 per cent
           of respondents thought it was very important that the council makes data
           available to the public and the public were most interested in seeing data made
           available about council spending and budgets (66 per cent)
          research by Ipsos MORI4 found that the more citizens feel informed, the more
           they tend to be satisfied with public services and their local authorities.

1
  “Market Assessment of Public Sector Information”, Deloitte, May 2013,
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/198905/bis-13-743-market-
assessment-of-public-sector-information.pdf
2
  “Local Government Transparency Survey 2012”, LGA, December 2012,
http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/11541/Local_Government_Transparency_Survey_2012.pdf/dd4c2
4ed-20ba-4feb-b6eb-fea21e4af049
3
  ”Citizens Panel Summer 2011 Survey Results Data Transparency” Bedford Borough Council, August 2011
(unpublished)
4
  “What do people want, need and expect from public services?”, Ipsos MORI, 2010, http://www.ipsos-
mori.com/DownloadPublication/1345_sri_what_do_people_want_need_and_expect_from_public_services_1
10310.pdf

                                                                                                   4
4. Therefore, the Government believes that in principle all data held and managed by
   local authorities should be made available to local people unless there are specific
   sensitivities (eg. protecting vulnerable people or commercial and operational
   considerations) to doing so. It encourages local authorities to see data as a valuable
   resource not only to themselves, but also their partners and local people.

5. Three principles have guided the development of this Code:

           demand led – there are growing expectations that new technologies and
            publication of data should support transparency and accountability. It is vital that
            public bodies recognise the value to the public of the data they hold, understand
            what they hold, what their communities want and then release it in a way that
            allows the public, developers and the media to use it
           open – provision of public data should become integral to local authority
            engagement with local people so that it drives accountability to them. Its
            availability should be promoted and publicised so that residents know how to
            access it and how it can be used. Presentation should be helpful and accessible
            to local people and other interested persons, and
           timely – the timeliness of making public data available is often of vital
            importance. It should be made public as soon as possible following production
            even if it is not accompanied with detailed analysis.

6. This Code ensures local people can now see and access data covering (annex A
   summarises the publication requirements specified in this Code):
           how money is spent – for example, all spending transactions over £500, all
            Government Procurement Card spending and contracts valued over £5,000
           use of assets – ensuring that local people are able to scrutinise how well their
            local authority manages its assets5. For example, self-financing for council
            housing – introduced in April 2012 – gave each local authority a level of debt it
            could support based on the valuation of its housing stock. This Code gives local
            people the information they need to ask questions about how their authority is
            managing its housing stock to ensure it is put to best use, including considering
            whether higher value, vacant properties could be used to fund the building of
            new affordable homes and so reduce waiting lists. The requirement in
            paragraphs 38 to 41 builds on existing Housing Revenue Account practices6
           decision making – how decisions are taken and who is taking them, including
            how much senior staff are paid, and
           issues important to local people – for example, parking and the amount spent
            by an authority subsidising trade union activity.

5
  Nationally, local authorities’ estate (all forms of land and buildings) is estimated to be worth about £220
billion.
6
  The Housing Revenue Account (Accounting Practices) Directions 2011 require that local authorities’ annual
statement of accounts include disclosure of the total balance sheet value of the land, houses and other
property and the vacant possession value of dwellings within the authority’s Housing Revenue Account,
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-housing-revenue-account-directions-2011.

                                                                                                           5
7. Local authorities are encouraged to consider the responses the Government received7
   to its consultation and look to go further than this Code by publishing some of the data
   proposed by respondents, in line with the principle that all data held and managed by
   local authorities should be made open and available to local people unless there are
   specific sensitivities to doing so.

8. Fraud can thrive where decisions are not open to scrutiny and details of spending,
   contracts and service provision are hidden from view. Greater transparency, and the
   provisions in this Code, can help combat fraud. Local authorities should also use a risk
   management approach with strong internal control arrangements to reduce the risk of
   any payment fraud as a result of publishing public data. Local authorities should refer
   to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Code of Practice on
   Managing the Risk of Fraud and Corruption8. Annex B provides further information on
   combating fraud.

Application
9. This Code is issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
   in exercise of his powers under section 2 of the Local Government, Planning and Land
   Act 1980 (“the Act”) to issue a Code of Recommended Practice (the Code) as to the
   publication of information by local authorities about the discharge of their functions and
   other matters which he considers to be related. It is issued following consultation in
   accordance with section 3(11) of the Act.

10. The Code does not replace or supersede the existing legal framework for access to
    and re-use of public sector information provided by the:
          Freedom of Information Act 2000 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms
           Act 2012)
          Environmental Information Regulations 2004
          Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005
          Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)
           Regulations 2009, and
          sections 25 and 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 20149 which
           provide rights for persons to inspect a local authority’s accounting records and
           supporting documentation, and to make copies of them.

11. This Code does not apply to Police and Crime Commissioners, for whom a separate
    transparency framework applies.

7
 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/266815/Transparency_Code_
Government_Response.pdf (see paragraph 37)
8
  http://www.cipfa.org/services/counter-fraud-centre/code-of-practice
9
  See the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2014/234) for details of when and how those rights may
be exercised.

                                                                                                        6
12. This Code only applies to local authorities in relation to descriptions of information or
    data where that type of local authority undertakes the particular function to which the
    information or data relates.

13. The Code applies in England only.

Definitions
14. In this Code:

       “local authority” means:
          a county council in England
          a district council
          a parish council which has gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is
           the higher) exceeding £200,000
          a London borough council
          the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local authority
          the Council of the Isles of Scilly
          a National Park authority for a National Park in England
          the Broads Authority
          the Greater London Authority so far as it exercises its functions through the
           Mayor
          the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
          Transport for London
          a fire and rescue authority (constituted by a scheme under section 2 of the Fire
           and Rescue Services Act 2004 or a scheme to which section 4 of that Act
           applies, and a metropolitan county fire and rescue authority)
          a joint authority established by Part IV of the Local Government Act 1985 (fire
           and rescue services and transport)
          a joint waste authority, i.e. an authority established for an area in England by
           an order under section 207 of the Local Government and Public Involvement
           in Health Act 2007
          an economic prosperity board established under section 88 of the Local
           Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009
          a combined authority established under section 103 of that Act
          a waste disposal authority, i.e. an authority established under section 10 of the
           Local Government Act 1985, and
          an integrated transport authority for an integrated transport area in England.

                                                                                                7
“a social enterprise”10 means a business that trades for a social and/or
           environmental purpose and is a business which:
                   o aims to generate its income by selling goods and services, rather than
                     through grants and donations
                   o is set up to specifically make a difference, and
                   o reinvests the profits it makes for the purpose of its social mission.

           “a small or medium sized enterprise” means an undertaking which has fewer than
           250 employees.

           “voluntary and community sector organisations” means a non-governmental
           organisation that is value-driven and which principally reinvests its surpluses to
           further social, environmental or cultural objectives.

Data protection
15. The Government believes that local transparency can be implemented in a way that
    complies with the Data Protection Act 1998. Where local authorities are disclosing
    information which potentially engages the Data Protection Act 1998, they must ensure
    that the publication of that information is compliant with the provisions of that Act. The
    Data Protection Act 1998 does not restrict or inhibit information being published about
    councillors or senior local authority officers because of the legitimate public interest in
    the scrutiny of such senior individuals and decision makers. The Data Protection Act
    1998 also does not automatically prohibit information being published naming the
    suppliers with whom the authority has contracts, including sole traders, because of the
    public interest in accountability and transparency in the spending of public money.

16. For other situations where information held by local authorities contains public data
    which cannot be disclosed in a Data Protection Act compliant manner, the Information
    Commissioner’s Office has published guidance on anonymisation of datasets, enabling
    publication of data which can yield insights to support public service improvement,
    whilst safeguarding individuals’ privacy11.

17. To ensure that published valuation information for social housing assets (see
    paragraphs 38 to 41) is not disclosive of individual properties, authorities are required
    to publish their valuation data at postal sector level, i.e. full ‘outbound’ code (first part of
    the postcode) and first digit of the ‘inbound’ code (second part of the postcode). This
    provides an average cell size of 2,500 households, which should be large enough to
    prevent identification of individual dwellings. However, in particular areas where the
    postcode sector gives a number of households below 2,500 the postcode level should
    be set higher, that is at postcode district level (e.g.PO1 ***).

10
     https://www.gov.uk/set-up-a-social-enterprise
11
     http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/topic_guides/anonymisation

                                                                                                  8
18. Local authorities should also make the following adjustment prior to publishing social
    housing valuation data in order to mitigate the possibility of identifying individual
    properties:
         Step 1 – for any given postcode sector where the number of occupied social
          housing properties in any valuation bands is less than a threshold of ’10’,
          authorities should merge that particular cell with the next lowest valuation band,
          and so on until the resultant merged cells contain at least ‘10’ occupied social
          housing properties. However, if continued repetition of step 1 leads to the
          number of valuation bands applied to that postcode sector falling below the
          proposed minimum threshold of valuation bands as set out in paragraph 17,
          authorities should then apply step 2.
         Step 2 – authorities should merge the original (non-merged) valuation data for
          the relevant postcode sector with the valuation data with any adjoining postcode
          sectors which show the lowest number of socially rented properties. Then apply
          Step 1.

Licences
19. When using postcode data (for example, in connection with paragraphs 35 to 41), local
    authorities will need to assess their current licence arrangement with the Royal Mail
    with regards to the terms of use of the Postcode Address File (PAF).

Commercial confidentiality
20. The Government has not seen any evidence that publishing details about contracts
    entered into by local authorities would prejudice procurement exercises or the interests
    of commercial organisations, or breach commercial confidentiality unless specific
    confidentiality clauses are included in contracts. Local authorities should expect to
    publish details of contracts newly entered into – commercial confidentiality should not,
    in itself, be a reason for local authorities to not follow the provisions of this Code.
    Therefore, local authorities should consider inserting clauses in new contracts allowing
    for the disclosure of data in compliance with this Code.

Exclusions and exemptions
21. Authorities should ensure that they do not contravene the provisions of sections 100A,
    100B or 100F of the Local Government Act 1972.

22. Where information would otherwise fall within one of the exemptions from disclosure,
    for instance, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental
    Information Regulations 2004, the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European
    Community (INSPIRE) Regulations 2009 or fall within Schedule 12A to the Local
    Government Act 1972 then it is at the discretion of the local authority whether or not to
    rely on that exemption or publish the data. Local authorities should start from the
    presumption of openness and disclosure of information, and not rely on exemptions to
    withhold information unless absolutely necessary.

                                                                                             9
Timeliness and errors
23. Data should be as accurate as possible at first publication. While errors may occur, the
    publication of information should not be unduly delayed to rectify mistakes. This
    concerns errors in data accuracy. The best way to achieve this is by having robust
    information management processes in place.

24. Where errors in data are discovered, or files are changed for other reasons (such as
    omissions), local authorities should publish revised information making it clear where
    and how there has been an amendment. Metadata on data.gov.uk should be amended
    accordingly.

Further guidance and support
25. The Local Government Association has published guidance12 on transparency (eg.
    technical guidance notes, best practice examples and case studies) to help local
    authorities comply with this Code.

12
     http://www.local.gov.uk/practitioners-guides-to-publishing-data

                                                                                          10
Part 2: Information which must be published

Part 2.1: Information to be published quarterly
26. Data covered by this section includes:
           expenditure exceeding £500 (see paragraphs 28 and 29)
           Government Procurement Card transactions (paragraph 30), and
           procurement information (see paragraphs 31 and 32).

27. The data and information referred to in this Part (2.1) must be:
           first published within a period of three months from the date on which the local
            authority last published that data under the Local Government Transparency
            Code 201413 and not later than one month after the quarter to which the data
            and information is applicable
           published quarterly thereafter and on each occasion not later than one month
            after the quarter to which the data and information is applicable.

Expenditure exceeding £500
28. Local authorities must publish details of each individual item of expenditure that
    exceeds £50014. This includes items of expenditure15, consistent with Local
    Government Association guidance16, such as:
           individual invoices
           grant payments
           expense payments
           payments for goods and services
           grants
           grant in aid
           rent
           credit notes over £500, and
           transactions with other public bodies.

13
   Under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014, local authorities were required to publish this data
on the first occasion, not later than 31 December 2014 and quarterly thereafter.
14
   The threshold should be, where possible, the net amount excluding recoverable Value Added Tax.
15
   Salary payments to staff normally employed by the local authority should not be included. However, local
authorities should publish details of payments to individual contractors (e.g. individuals from consultancy
firms, employment agencies, direct personal contracts, personal service companies etc) either here or under
contract information.
16
   http://www.local.gov.uk/practitioners-guides-to-publishing-data

                                                                                                        11
29. For each individual item of expenditure the following information must be published:
           date the expenditure was incurred
           local authority department which incurred the expenditure
           beneficiary
           summary of the purpose of the expenditure17
           amount18
           Value Added Tax that cannot be recovered, and
           merchant category (eg. computers, software etc).

Government Procurement Card transactions
30. Local authorities must publish details of every transaction on a Government
    Procurement Card. For each transaction, the following details must be published:
           date of the transaction
           local authority department which incurred the expenditure
           beneficiary
           amount19
           Value Added Tax that cannot be recovered
           summary of the purpose of the expenditure, and
           merchant category (eg. computers, software etc).

17
   This could be the descriptor that local authorities use in their accounting system providing it gives a clear
sense of why the expenditure was incurred or what it purchased or secured for the local authority.
18
   Where possible, this should be the net amount excluding recoverable Value Added Tax. Where Value
Added Tax cannot be recovered – or the source of the data being used cannot separate out recoverable
Value Added Tax – then the gross amount should be used instead with a note stating that the gross amount
has been used.
19
   Where possible, this should be the net amount excluding recoverable Value Added Tax. Where Value
Added Tax cannot be recovered – or the source of the data being used cannot separate out recoverable
Value Added Tax – then the gross amount should be used instead with a note stating that the gross amount
has been used.

                                                                                                              12
Procurement information
31. Local authorities must publish details of every invitation to tender for contracts to
    provide goods and/or services20 with a value that exceeds £5,00021, 22. For each
    invitation, the following details must be published:
          reference number
          title
          description of the goods and/or services sought
          start, end and review dates, and
          local authority department responsible.

32. Local authorities must also publish details of any contract23, commissioned activity,
    purchase order, framework agreement and any other legally enforceable agreement
    with a value that exceeds £5,00024. For each contract, the following details must be
    published:
          reference number
          title of agreement
          local authority department responsible
          description of the goods and/or services being provided
          supplier name and details
          sum to be paid over the length of the contract or the estimated annual spending
           or budget for the contract25
          Value Added Tax that cannot be recovered
          start, end and review dates
          whether or not the contract was the result of an invitation to quote or a published
           invitation to tender, and
          whether or not the supplier is a small or medium sized enterprise and/or a
           voluntary or community sector organisation and where it is, provide the relevant
           registration number26.

20
   This includes contracts for staff who are employed via consultancy firms or similar agencies.
21
   The threshold should be, where possible, the net amount excluding recoverable Value Added Tax.
22
   Tenders for framework agreements should be included, even though there may be no initial value.
23
   This includes contracts for staff who are employed via consultancy firms or similar agencies.
24
   The threshold should be, where possible, the net amount excluding recoverable Value Added Tax.
25
   Where possible, this should be the net amount excluding recoverable Value Added Tax. Where Value
Added Tax cannot be recovered – or the source of the data being used cannot separate out recoverable
Value Added Tax – then the gross amount should be used instead with a note stating that the gross amount
has been used.
26
   For example, this might be the company or charity registration number.

                                                                                                      13
Part 2.2: Information to be published annually
33. Data covered by this section includes:
           local authority land (see paragraphs 35 to 37)
           social housing assets (see paragraphs 38 to 41)
           grants to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (see
            paragraphs 42 and 43)
           organisation chart (see paragraph 44)
           trade union facility time (see paragraph 45)
           parking account (see paragraph 46)
           parking spaces (see paragraph 47)
           senior salaries (see paragraphs 48 and 49)
           constitution (see paragraph 50)
           pay multiple (see paragraphs 51 and 52), and
           fraud (see paragraph 53).

34. With the exception of data relating to social housing assets (paragraphs 38 to 41), the
    data and information in this Part (2.2) must be:
           first published within a period of one year from the date on which the local
            authority last published that data under the Local Government Transparency
            Code 201427 and not later than one month after the year to which the data and
            information is applicable
           published annually thereafter and on each occasion not later than one month 28
            after the year to which the data and information is applicable.

        The data on social housing assets (see paragraphs 38 to 41) must be published:
           on the first occasion, not later than 1 September 2015 (based on the most up to
            date valuation data available at the time of publishing the information), then
           in April 2016, and
           every April thereafter.

27
   Under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014, local authorities were required to publish this data
on the first occasion, not later than 2 February 2015 and annual thereafter.
28
   In relation to parking account data, where the local authority’s annual accounts have not been finalised,
the authority should publish estimates within one month after the year to which the data is applicable and
subsequently publish final figures as soon as the authority’s accounts are finalised.

                                                                                                         14
Local authority land
35. Local authorities must publish details of all land and building assets including:
          all service and office properties occupied or controlled by user bodies, both
           freehold and leasehold
          any properties occupied or run under Private Finance Initiative contracts
          all other properties they own or use, for example, hostels, laboratories,
           investment properties and depots
          garages unless rented as part of a housing tenancy agreement
          surplus, sublet or vacant properties
          undeveloped land
          serviced or temporary offices where contractual or actual occupation exceeds
           three months, and
          all future commitments, for example under an agreement for lease, from when
           the contractual commitment is made.

       Information about the following land and building assets are to be excluded from
       publication:
          rent free properties provided by traders (such as information booths in public
           places or ports)
          operational railways and canals
          operational public highways (but any adjoining land not subject to public rights
           should be included)
          assets of national security, and
          information deemed inappropriate for public access as a result of data protection
           and/or disclosure controls (eg. such as refuge houses).

36. For the purposes of this dataset about local authority land (paragraphs 35 to 37),
    details about social housing should not be published. However, information about the
    value of social housing stock contained in a local authority’s Housing Revenue
    Account does need to be published for the social housing asset value dataset
    (paragraphs 38 to 41).

                                                                                              15
37. For each land or building asset, the following information must be published together in
    one place:
           Unique Property Reference Number29
           Unique asset identity - the local reference identifier used by the local body,
            sometimes known as local name or building block. There should be one entry
            per asset or user/owner (eg. on one site there could be several buildings or in
            one building there could be several users floors/rooms etc – where this is the
            case, each of these will have a separate asset identity). This must include the
            original reference number from the data source plus authority code
           name of the building/land or both
           street number or numbers - any sets of 2 or more numbers should be separated
            with the ‘-‘ symbol (eg. 10-15 London Road)
           street name – this is the postal road address30
           post town
           United Kingdom postcode
           map reference – local authorities may use either Ordnance Survey or ISO 6709
            systems to identify the location of an asset, but must make clear which is being
            used. Where an Ordnance Survey mapping system is used (the grid system)
            then assets will be identified using Eastings before Northings. Where geocoding
            in accordance with ISO 6709 is being used to identify the centre point of the
            asset location then that reference must indicate its ISO coordinates
           whether the local authority owns the freehold or a lease for the asset and for
            whichever category applies, the local authority must list all the characteristics
            that apply from the options given below:

            for freehold assets:
            o occupied by the local authority
            o ground leasehold
            o leasehold
            o licence
            o vacant (for vacant properties, local authorities should not publish the map
              reference or full address details, they should only publish the first part of the
              postcode31).

29
   The Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) is a unique twelve digit number assigned to every unit of
land and property recorded by local government, this is a statutory obligation. The UPRN uniquely and
definitively identifies every addressable location in the country. The numbers originate from Geo-Place (an
OS and LGA joint venture).
30
   Local authorities should use the official postal address. Exceptionally, where this is not available, local
authorities should use the address they hold for the asset.
31
   The first part of the postcode, or Outward Code, refers to the area and the district only,
http://www.postcodeaddressfile.co.uk/products/postcodes/postcodes_explained.htm

                                                                                                           16
for leasehold assets:
            o occupied by the local authority
            o ground leasehold
            o sub leasehold
            o licence.

            for other assets:
            o free text description eg. rights of way, access etc32.

           whether or not the asset is land only (i.e. without permanent buildings) or it is
            land with a permanent building.

Social housing asset value

38. Local authorities must publish details of the value of social housing stock that is held in
    their Housing Revenue Account33.

39. The following social housing stock data must be published:
           valuation data to be listed at postal sector level34 (e.g. PO1 1**), without
            indicating individual dwelling values, and ensuring that data is not capable of
            being made disclosive of individual properties, in line with disclosure protocols
            set out in paragraphs 15 to 18
           valuation data for the dwellings using both Existing Use Value for Social
            Housing and market value (valued in accordance with guidance35) as at 1 April.
            This should be based on the authority’s most up to date valuation data at the
            time of the publication of the information
           an explanation of the difference between the tenanted sale value of dwellings
            within the Housing Revenue Account and their market sale value, and
            assurance that the publication of this information is not intended to suggest that
            tenancies should end to realise the market value of properties.

32
   Where a local authority feels unable to verify rights of way information, for example, it should add a short
narrative explaining why it is unable to identify and verify the information.
33
   All local housing authorities who hold housing stock are required to account for all income and expenditure
in relation to that stock in a separate account which is called the Housing Revenue Account.
34
   The first part of the postcode, or Outward Code (which refers only to the area and the district only), and
first digit of the second part of the postcode, or Inward Code (the number identifies the sector in the postal
district). http://www.postcodeaddressfile.co.uk/products/postcodes/postcodes_explained.htm
35
   Guidance for Valuers on Stock Valuation for Resource Accounting 2010 published by the Secretary of
State for Communities and Local Government in January 2011,
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5939/1825886.pdf

                                                                                                            17
40. The valuation data and information referred to in paragraph 39 must be published in
    the following format:
          for each postal sector level, the valuation data should be classified within set
           bands of value. Authorities must set their valuation bands within the general
           parameters set out in the table below, in light of the local characteristics of the
           housing market in their area, in order to ensure that valuation data published by
           all authorities is consistent and clear to understand:

               Valuation Band Range              Intervening bands value
               < £50,000 -£99,999                6 Bands of £10,000
               £100,000 - £299,999               10 Bands of £20,000
               £300,000 - £499,999               4 Bands of £50,000
               £500,000 - £999,999               5 Bands of £100,000
               £1,000,000 – £2,999,999>          5 Bands of £500,000

          authorities should ensure that any band should only include values that fall
           within the band parameters (i.e. not give a top value band). If that is the case,
           the lowest and highest band should be further disaggregated
          authorities should bear in mind that it is likely that the numbers of properties in
           the lowest and highest bands will be low, leading to potential disclosure
           problems. The protocol to address this issue is set out in paragraphs 15 to 18
          for each postal sector level, within the set band of value, the data should
           indicate:
           o the total number of dwellings
           o the aggregate value of the dwellings and their mean value, using both
             Existing Use Value for Social Housing and market value, and
           o the percentage of the dwellings that are occupied and the percentage that
             are vacant
          authorities must publish the valuation data for both tenanted and vacant
           dwellings.

41. An example of how the data specified in paragraphs 39 and 40 could be presented is
    included at annex C.

Grants to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations
42. Local authorities must publish details of all grants to voluntary, community and social
    enterprise organisations. This can be achieved by either:
          tagging and hence specifically identifying transactions which relate to voluntary,
           community and social enterprise organisations within published data on
           expenditure over £500 or published procurement information, or
          by publishing a separate list or register.

                                                                                                 18
43. For each identified grant, the following information must be published as a minimum:
             date the grant was awarded
             time period for which the grant has been given
             local authority department which awarded the grant
             beneficiary
             beneficiary’s registration number36
             summary of the purpose of the grant, and
             amount.

Organisation chart
44. Local authorities must publish an organisation chart covering staff in the top three
    levels of the organisation37. The following information must be included for each
    member of staff included in the chart:
             grade
             job title
             local authority department and team
             whether permanent or temporary staff
             contact details
             salary in £5,000 brackets, consistent with the details published under paragraph
              48, and
             salary ceiling (the maximum salary for the grade).

Trade union facility time
45. Local authorities must publish the following information on trade union facility time:
             total number (absolute number and full time equivalent) of staff who are union
              representatives (e.g. general, learning and health and safety representatives)
             total number (absolute number and full time equivalent) of union representatives
              who devote at least 50 per cent of their time to union duties
             names of all trade unions represented in the local authority
             a basic estimate of spending on unions (calculated as the number of full time
              equivalent days spent on union duties by authority staff that spent the majority of
              their time on union duties multiplied by the average salary), and
             a basic estimate of spending on unions as a percentage of the total pay bill
              (calculated as the number of full time equivalent days spent on union duties by
              authority staff that spent the majority of their time on union duties multiplied by
              the average salary divided by the total pay bill).

36
     For example, this might be the company or charity registration number.
37
     This should exclude staff whose salary does not exceed £50,000.

                                                                                                19
Parking account
46. Local authorities must publish on their website, or place a link on their website to this
    data if published elsewhere:
           a breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority’s parking account38, 39.
            The breakdown of income must include details of revenue collected from on-
            street parking, off-street parking and Penalty Charge Notices, and
           a breakdown of how the authority has spent a surplus on its parking account38,40.

Parking spaces
47. Local authorities must publish the number of marked out controlled on and off-street
    parking spaces within their area, or an estimate of the number of spaces where
    controlled parking space is not marked out in individual parking bays or spaces.

Senior salaries
48. Local authorities are already required to publish, under the Accounts and Audit
    Regulations 2015 (Statutory Instrument 2015/234)41:
           the number of employees whose remuneration in that year was at least £50,000
            in brackets of £5,000
           details of remuneration and job title of certain senior employees whose salary is
            at least £50,000, and
           employees whose salaries are £150,000 or more must also be identified by
            name.

49. In addition to this requirement, local authorities must place a link on their website to
    these published data or place the data itself on their website, together with a list of
    responsibilities (for example, the services and functions they are responsible for,
    budget held and number of staff) and details of bonuses and ‘benefits-in-kind’, for all
    employees whose salary exceeds £50,000. The key differences between the
    requirements under this Code and the Regulations referred to above is the addition of a
    list of responsibilities, the inclusion of bonus details for all senior employees whose
    salary exceeds £50,000 and publication of the data on the authority’s website.

38
   A parking account kept under section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as modified by
Regulation 25 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007.
39
   Local authorities should also have regard to both statutory guidance, The Secretary of State’s Statutory
Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions,
http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/tma-part-6-cpe-statutory-guidance/betterprkstatutoryguid.pdf,
and non-statutory operational guidance, Operational Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and
Enforcement,
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/212559/parkingenforcepolicy.pdf
40
   Section 55 (as amended) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 sets out how local authorities should
use a surplus on their parking account. Local authorities should breakdown how they have spent a surplus
on their parking account within the categories set out in section 55.
41
   For the accounting year 2014-15, the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011 (Statutory
Instrument 2011/817) remain applicable.

                                                                                                          20
Constitution
50. Local authorities are already required to make their Constitution available for inspection
    at their offices under section 9P of the Local Government Act 2000. Local authorities
    must also, under this Code, publish their Constitution on their website.

Pay multiple
51. Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011 requires local authorities to produce Pay Policy
    Statements, which should include the authority’s policy on pay dispersion – the
    relationship between remuneration of chief officers and the remuneration of other staff.
    Guidance produced under section 40 of that Act42, recommends that the pay multiple is
    included in these statements as a way of illustrating the authority’s approach to pay
    dispersion.

52. Local authorities must, under this Code, publish the pay multiple on their website,
    defined as the ratio between the highest paid taxable earnings for the given year
    (including base salary, variable pay, bonuses, allowances and the cash value of any
    benefits-in-kind) and the median earnings figure of the whole of the authority’s
    workforce. The measure must:
          cover all elements of remuneration that can be valued (eg. all taxable earnings
           for the given year, including base salary, variable pay, bonuses, allowances and
           the cash value of any benefits-in-kind)
          use the median earnings figure as the denominator, which should be that of all
           employees of the local authority on a fixed date each year, coinciding with
           reporting at the end of the financial year, and
          exclude changes in pension benefits, which due to their variety and complexity
           cannot be accurately included in a pay multiple disclosure.

42
  Openness and accountability in local pay: Guidance under Section 40 of the Localism Act (February
2012), https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5956/2091042.pdf

                                                                                                      21
Fraud
53. Local authorities must publish the following information about their counter fraud
    work43:
           number of occasions they use powers under the Prevention of Social Housing
            Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 201444, or similar
            powers45
           total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking
            investigations and prosecutions of fraud
           total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of professionally accredited
            counter fraud specialists
           total amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud,
            and
           total number of fraud cases investigated.

Part 2.3: Information to be published once only
Waste contracts
54. Local authorities must publish details of their existing waste collection contracts, in line
    with the details contained in paragraph 32. Local authorities must publish this
    information at the same time as they first publish quarterly procurement information
    under paragraphs 27, 31 and 32 of this Code.

Part 2.4: Method of publication
55. Public data should be published in a format and under a licence that allows open re-
    use, including for commercial and research activities, in order to maximise value to the
    public. The most recent Open Government Licence published by the National Archives
    should be used as the recommended standard. Where any copyright or data ownership
    concerns exist with public data these should be made clear. Data covered by Part 2 of
    this Code must be published in open and machine-readable formats (further
    information about machine-readable formats can be found in Part 3.2).

43
   The definition of fraud is as set out by the Audit Commission in Protecting the Public Purse.
44
   S.I. 2014/899.
45
   For example, the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England)
Regulations 2013 gives local authorities the power to require information from listed bodies, during the
investigation of fraud connected with an application for or award of a reduction under a council tax reduction
scheme: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/501/contents/made

                                                                                                            22
Part 3: Information recommended for
publication
56. Part 2 of this Code set out details of the minimum data that local authorities must
    publish. The Government believes that in principle all data held and managed by local
    authorities should be made available to local people unless there are specific
    sensitivities to doing so. Therefore, it encourages local authorities to go much further in
    publishing the data they hold, recognising the benefits of sharing that data for local
    people, more effective service delivery and better policy making. Part 3 of this Code
    sets out details of data that the Government recommends local authorities publish.

Part 3.1: Information recommended for publication
57. Data covered by this section includes:
          expenditure data (see paragraph 58)
          procurement information (see paragraphs 59 and 60)
          local authority land (see paragraph 61 and 62)
          parking spaces (see paragraphs 63 and 64)
          organisation chart (see paragraph 65)
          grants to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (see
           paragraphs 66 and 67), and
          fraud (see paragraph 68).

Expenditure data
58. It is recommended that local authorities go further than the minimum publication
    requirements set out in Part 2 and:
          publish information on a monthly instead of quarterly basis, or ideally, as soon
           as it becomes available and therefore known to the authority (commonly known
           as ‘real-time’ publication)
          publish details of all transactions that exceed £250 instead of £500. For each
           transaction the details that should be published remain as in paragraph 29
          publish all transactions on all corporate credit cards, charge cards and
           procurements, including those that are not a Government Procurement Card.
           For each transaction the details that should be published remain as set out in
           paragraph 30
          publish the total amount spent on remuneration over the period being reported
           on, and
          classify expenditure using the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and
           Accountancy Service Reporting Code of Practice to enable comparability
           between local authorities.

                                                                                             23
Procurement information
59. It is recommended that local authorities place on Contracts Finder46, as well as any
    other local portal, every invitation to tender or invitation to quote for contracts to provide
    goods and/or services with a value that exceeds £10,000. For each invitation, the
    details that should be published are the same as those set out in paragraph 31.

60. It is recommended that local authorities should go further than the minimum publication
    requirements set out in Part 2 and publish:
           information on a monthly instead of quarterly basis, or ideally, as soon as it is
            generated and therefore becomes available (commonly known as ‘real-time’
            publication)
           every invitation to tender for contracts to provide goods and/or services with a
            value that exceeds £500 instead of £5,000. The details that should be published
            are the same as those set out in paragraph 31
           details of invitations to quote where there has not been a formal invitation to
            tender. The details that should be published are the same as those set out in
            paragraph 31
           all contracts in their entirety where the value of the contract exceeds £5,00047
           company registration number at Companies House
           details of invitations to tender or invitations to quote that are likely to be issued in
            the next twelve months. The details that should be published are the same as
            those set out in paragraph 31
           details of the geographical (eg. by ward) coverage of contracts entered into by
            the local authority
           details of performance against contractual key performance indicators, and
           information disaggregated by voluntary and community sector category (eg.
            whether it is registered with Companies House, Charity or Charitable
            Incorporated Organisation, Community Interest Company, Industrial and
            Provident Society, Housing Association, etc).

Local authority land
61. It is recommended that local authorities should go further than the minimum publication
    requirements set out in Part 2 and publish information on a monthly instead of annual
    basis, or ideally, as soon as it becomes available and therefore known to the authority
    (commonly known as ‘real-time’ publication). It is also recommended that local
    authorities should publish all the information possible on Electronic Property
    Information Mapping Service.

46
   Documentation for all procurements valued at over £10,000 is stored on Contracts Finder for public
viewing as part of government's transparency commitment. https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/
47
   Where a contract runs into several hundreds of pages or more, a local authority should publish a summary
of the contract or sections of the contract, if this would be more helpful to local people and businesses.

                                                                                                         24
62. It is further recommended that local authorities also go further than the minimum
    publication requirements set out in paragraph 37 by publishing, alongside them in one
    place, the following information:
          size of the asset measured in Gross Internal Area (m2) for buildings or hectares
           for land, in accordance with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Code of
           Measuring Practice. The Gross Internal Area is the area of a building measured
           to the internal face of the perimeter walls at each floor level. Local authorities
           using Net Internal Area (m2) should convert measurements to Gross Internal
           Area using appropriate conversion factors48 and state the conversion factor used
          services offered from the asset using the services listed in the Effective Services
           Delivery government service function list
           http://doc.esd.org.uk/FunctionList/1.00.html (listing up to five main services)
          reason for holding asset such as, it is occupied by the local authority or it is
           providing a service on the authority’s behalf, it is an investment property, it
           supports economic development (eg. provision of small businesses or incubator
           space), it is surplus to the authority’s requirements, it is awaiting development, it
           is under construction, it provides infrastructure or it is a community asset
          whether or not the asset is either one which is an asset in the authority’s
           ownership that is listed under Part 5 Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011 (assets
           of community value) and/or an asset which the authority is actively seeking to
           transfer to the community
          total building operation (revenue) costs as defined in the corporate value for
           money indicators for public services49
          required maintenance - the cost to bring the property from its present state up to
           the state reasonably required by the authority to deliver the service and/or to
           meet statutory or contract obligations and maintain it at that standard. This
           should exclude improvement projects but include works necessary to comply
           with new legislation (eg. asbestos and legionella)
          functional suitability rating using the scale:
           o good – performing well and operating efficiently (supports the needs of staff
             and the delivery of services)
           o satisfactory – performing well but with minor problems (generally supports
             the needs of staff and the delivery of services)
           o poor – showing major problems and/or not operating optimally (impedes the
             performance off staff and/or the delivery of services)
           o unsuitable – does not support or actually impedes the delivery of services
          energy performance rating as stated on the Display Energy Certificate under the
           Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (as
           amended).

48
   Local authorities are not expected to re-measure buildings. Research undertaken for the Scottish
Government offers one method of converting Net Internal Area to Gross Internal Area and can be found at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/217736/0121532.pdf
49
   http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2010-11-Estates-Management.pdf (See page 17).

                                                                                                       25
Parking spaces
63. It is recommended that local authorities should publish the number of:
      free parking spaces available in the local authority’s area and which are provided
       directly by the local authority, and
       parking spaces where charges apply that are available in the local authority’s area
        and which are provided directly by the local authority.

64. Where parking space is not marked out in individual parking bays or spaces, local
    authorities should estimate the number of spaces available for the two categories in
    paragraph 63.

Organisation chart
65. It is recommended that local authorities should go further than the minimum publication
    requirements set out in Part 2 and publish:
           charts including all employees of the local authority whose salary exceeds
            £50,000
           the salary band for each employee included in the chart(s), and
           information about current vacant posts, or signpost vacancies that are going to
            be advertised in the future.

Grants to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations
66. It is recommended that local authorities should go further than the minimum publication
    requirements set out in Part 2 and publish information on a monthly instead of annual
    basis where payments are made more frequently than a single annual payment, or
    ideally, as soon as the data becomes available and therefore known to the authority
    (commonly known as ‘real-time’ publication).

67. It is further recommended that local authorities publish information disaggregated by
    voluntary and community sector category (eg. whether it is registered with Companies
    House, charity or charitable incorporated organisation, community interest company,
    industrial and provident society, housing association, etc).

Fraud

68. It is recommended that local authorities should go further than the minimum publication
    requirements set out in Part 2 and publish:
           total number of cases of irregularity investigated
           total number of occasions on which a) fraud and b) irregularity was identified
           total monetary value of a) the fraud and b) the irregularity that was detected, and
           total monetary value of a) the fraud and b) the irregularity that was recovered.

                                                                                               26
Part 3.2: Method of publication
69. The Government endorses the five step journey to a fully open format:
         One star         Available on the web (whatever format) but with an open license
         Two star         As for one star plus available as machine-readable structured data
                          (eg. Excel instead of an image scan of a table)
         Three star       As for two star plus use a non-proprietary format (eg. CSV and
                          XML)
         Four star        All of the above plus use open standards from the World Wide
                          Web Consortium (such as RDF and SPARLQL21)
         Five star        All the above plus links an organisation’s data to others’ data to
                          provide context

70. The Government recommends that local authorities publish data in three star formats
    where this is suitable and appropriate50, alongside open and machine-readable format,
    within six months of this Code being issued.

Shehla Husain
A Senior Civil Servant in the Department for Communities and Local
Government

Department for Communities and Local Government
27 February 2015

50
  Statistical data, lists etc should be capable of being published in this format but others (eg. organisation
charts) may be more difficult.

                                                                                                                 27
Annex A: Table summarising all information to be published
 Information                Information which must be published                        Information recommended for publication
     title
Expenditure    Quarterly publication                                                   Publish information on a monthly instead of
exceeding      Publish details of each individual item of expenditure that              quarterly basis, or ideally, as soon as it
£500           exceeds £500, including items of expenditure, consistent with            becomes available and therefore known to
               Local Government Association guidance, such as:                          the authority (commonly known as ‘real-
                 individual invoices                                                   time’ publication).
                 grant payments                                                       Publish details of all transactions that
                 expense payments                                                      exceed £250 instead of £500. For each
                 payments for goods and services                                       transaction the details that should be
                 grants                                                                published remain as set out in paragraph
                 grant in aid                                                          29.
                 rent                                                                 publish the total amount spent on
                 credit notes over £500                                                remuneration over the period being reported
                 transactions with other public bodies.                                on.
                                                                                       classify purpose of expenditure using the
               For each individual item of expenditure the following information        Chartered Institute of Public Finance and
               must be published:                                                       Accountancy Service Reporting Code of
                date the expenditure was incurred                                      Practice to enable comparability between
                local authority department which incurred the expenditure              local authorities.
                beneficiary
                summary of the purpose of the expenditure
                amount
                Value Added Tax that cannot be recovered
                merchant category (eg. computers, software etc).

                                                                                                                               28
Information               Information which must be published                        Information recommended for publication
      title
Government      Quarterly publication                                                  Publish all transactions on all corporate
Procurement     Publish details of every transaction on a Government                    credit cards, charge cards and
Card            Procurement Card. For each transaction, the following details           procurements, including those that are not a
transactions    must be published:                                                      Government Procurement Card. For each
                 date of the transaction                                               transaction the details that should be
                 local authority department which incurred the expenditure             published remain as set out in paragraph
                 beneficiary                                                           30.
                 amount
                 Value Added Tax that cannot be recovered
                 summary of the purpose of the expenditure
                 merchant category (eg. computers, software etc).

Procurement     Quarterly publication                                              Place on Contracts Finder, as well as any other
information     Publish details of every invitation to tender for contracts to     local portal, every invitation to tender or
                provide goods and/or services with a value that exceeds £5,000.    invitation to quote for contracts to provide goods
                For each invitation, the following details must be published:      and/or services with a value that exceeds
                  reference number                                                £10,000.
                  title
                  description of the goods and/or services sought                 Publish:
                  start, end and review dates                                      information on a monthly instead of
                  local authority department responsible.                            quarterly basis, or ideally, as soon as it is
                                                                                      generated and therefore becomes available
                Quarterly publication                                                 (commonly known as ‘real-time’ publication)
                Publish details of any contract, commissioned activity, purchase    every invitation to tender for contracts to
                order, framework agreement and any other legally enforceable          provide goods and/or services with a value
                agreement with a value that exceeds £5,000. For each contract,        that exceeds £500 instead of £5,000
                the following details must be published:                            details of invitations to quote where there
                  reference number                                                   has not been a formal invitation to tender
                  title of agreement                                               all contracts in their entirety where the value
                  local authority department responsible                             of the contract exceeds £5,000

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